Tue, Jul 27, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Lions, Elephants end four-game series even

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

The four-game showdown between Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League-leading President Lions and the second-place Brother Elephants ended in a two-game split over the weekend.

Following a one-game split through the first two contests, the Lions put up seven runs against a shaky Elephant staff in Saturday night's 7-4 final.

Newly acquired starter Travis Steven lasted only 3-2/3 innings against a Lions lineup that scored five quick runs through the first four frames.

The American lefty had problem with his control as he walked five of the 20 batters faced.

Steven's early collapse led to a slew of problems in the Elephants bullpen as five different relievers were called to finish the game for skipper Lin Yi-tseng (林易增).

Lions' second-year righty Pan Wei-luen (潘威倫) did not have his normal stuff as he lasted just 2-1/3 innings, yielding three quick runs in the third to an unforgiving Elephants lineup.

Pan's departure led to the rescue of reliever Tsao Jung-yang (曹竣揚), whose four-hit effort in 3-1/3 innings of relief earned him his fifth win of the season.

Offensively for the Lions, shortstop Yang Seng (陽森) and right fielder Wang Chuan-jia (王傳家) each knocked in a pair of runs for the big cats.

game 4

Saturday's series finale in Tienmu made a 12-game winner out of starter Jonathan Hurst in a closely fought battle.

The 37-year-old former Major Leaguer allowed two runs on five hits while fanning seven in as many innings, before closer Wang Jing-li (王勁力) pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to preserve the 3-2 win, which helped salvage a series tie for the Elephants.

Peng "Chia Chia" Cheng-ming's (彭政閔) 2-for-4 night with an RBI on offense boosted his league-high batting average to .406 as he remained above the .400 mark for 65 straight games.

BEARS VERSUS COBRAS

The La New Bears won their fourth series of the season by taking two of the three games against the Macoto Cobras in the fight for bragging rights between the two former Taiwan Major League squads.

Game 1 in Hsinchuang on Thursday night was highlighted by a five-run sixth inning for the Bears that broke a scoreless tie.

Center fielder Huang Long-yi (黃龍義) and left fielder Tseng Hern-chang (曾恆彰) each drove in a pair of runs for the Bears, the former with a sharp liner up the middle and the latter with a towering blast over the left field wall.

The serpents out hit their opponents 6-to-4 in a losing effort as they failed to make good on hits they belted off Bears starter Chris Wright.

The right-hander from the US went the distance for his first victory of the season in the 6-2 decision.

His 13 strikeouts marked the first time that a Bears pitcher recorded double-digit strikeouts.

Friday's rematch had the Bears rallying from two down in the top of the eighth.

Cleanup man Lin Chih-sheng's (林智盛) two-out, run-scoring double off Cobras closer Lin Ying-jeh (林英傑) evened up the game at 4-4.

The Cobras would cross the plate four times in the bottom of the very same inning on back-to-back two-run doubles by pinch hitter Deng Shih-yang (鄧蒔陽) and right fielder Yang Rei-chih (楊睿智) to turn Lin Ying-jeh's blown save into a thrilling 8-4 Cobras victory.

Newly arrived Venezuelan righty Angel Tovar of the Cobras surrendered seven runs in two innings of relief work in his Taiwan debut.

A six-run eighth inning for the Bears put the game out of reach, as the game ended 11-2.

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